‘So proud’: Ibrahim Zadran hails World Cup shock

Afghanistan opening batsman Ibrahim Zadran said he was “proud of himself and his country” after a stunning eight-wicket victory over Pakistan in the Cricket World Cup on Monday.

Chasing the 283-run target, Zadran (87), Rahmat Shah (77 not out) and Rahmanullah Gurbaz (65) led the team to their second win of the tournament after shocking even defending champions England.

“This is so important for me in an event like this. I am very proud of myself and my country,” said the 21-year-old Zadran.

“I wanted to go out with a positive intention and a positive mind.”

Zadran and fellow opener Gurbaz, also just 21, put on 130 for the first wicket as Afghanistan beat Pakistan for the first time in eight ODI meetings.

“Gurbaz and I have built a lot of good partnerships. We’ve been playing together since we were 16, so we always have good communication,” he added.

“His support at the other end was very important and gave the team a good boost.”

After opening the World Cup with two wins, Pakistan have now lost three matches on the trot.

“It really hurt us,” said under-fire captain Babar Azam.

“We got a good total but our bowling is not up to par.

“In World Cups you have to fire from all three departments and we didn’t do that. Afghanistan played very well but we gave them a lot of runs which cost us.”

The victory was greeted with celebratory gunfire, cheering and fireworks throughout the Afghan capital of Kabul for at least 15 minutes after the match ended.

The victory for Afghanistan comes at a time of strained political and diplomatic relations between the two neighbors.

Elvira Parkinson

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